Preventing Injury During Group Exercise


Stretching

 

We do group exercise fitness classes because we love the energy, variety, fun and relaxation of the mind to just follow what the instructor does.  But have you ever taken a class that doesn’t quite fit your style or capability level, and you end up feeling frustrated and maybe you even got injured?  That’s no good!  In our classes we work hard to put a lot of variety into our movements so that you don’t experience too much of any one thing, like too many fast lunges or quick twists.  We also create moves that allow a variety of levels of low, medium and higher impact as well as smaller and bigger arm movements.  This way you can do the moves to your own comfort level.

What’s important to remember is that YOU are the sole authority on what the right exercise is for you and your body.  You are responsible for deciding which movements to amp up and which to keep low key, depending on your own fitness level and condition at that time.  We want you to have a great time and get your body moving in our classes, but always remember to go at your own pace and level, no matter what anyone else in the class is doing.  If the instructor is doing deep squats and your knees hurt, just do your squats with a tiny bend or even consider changing the move altogether and just march in place to keep moving.  Or if we are doing twists and crossovers and you know that’s painful for you, just skip it and do your own movements for that segment.  Don’t worry, the class will be on to the next movement before you know it!

Another thing that might be subtle but is very important is that every dance fitness class we do is designed with a warm-up at the beginning and a cool-down and stretch at the end.  It almost goes without saying how important it is to warm up your muscles before they can reach a higher capability.  It’s so simple and easy to do the warm-up, and we make ours fun!  If you’re late to class, just adapt your movements so that you take it easy in the beginning as you slowly increase your heart rate – you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience this way.  Also, sometimes people feel the need to leave early or skip the cool-down and stretch, but please don’t!  You’ve just increased your blood pumping through your body through the middle of the class, and if you don’t slow it down nice and easy you could end up with a situation known as blood pooling, which could cause severe injury.  And stretching out your warm muscles is one of the most enjoyable experiences in the class – please don’t deprive yourself of this important step.

We strongly encourage and respect all participants who monitor their own level and do what is right for them, so bravo to you for staying with the class, doing the movements at your own level and making sure you follow the warm-up, cool-down and stretch routines.  Let’s all stay injury-free!

 

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